Author | TezMillerOz

TezMillerOz

From the mid-1980s comes Tez Miller; born, raised and still living in suburban Victoria, Australia.

A reviewer, interviewer and promoter, she is above all a reader. Tez makes full use of her metabolism while she still has it, photographs her cat with novels, and her TV God is Seth MacFarlane. Tez is currently working through her to-be-read pile, and trying to convince authors to visit Melbourne.

Come say hello at tezmilleroz.wordpress.com


TezMillerOz

Men of the Otherworld Fiction Review

Posted on February 20, 2009 by

Families in the American Pack have deadly agendas in Kelley Armstrong’s collection of werewolf tales, Men of the Otherworld.

Out of the two novellas and two short stories here, I’d already read three in previous incarnations, when they were available free on the author’s website. Now they can only be found in this anthology, with the proceeds going to World Literacy of Canada.

“Ascension” is a fine short, focusing on Jeremy Danvers’s birth. The racist, unlikable Malcolm Danvers manages to attract a quiet Japanese lass, but she has a definite plan to keep the resulting baby from his father.

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

City of Ashes Fiction Review

Posted on February 2, 2009 by

Demons are more personal when one’s father is summoning them, in Cassandra Clare’s second Mortal Instruments novel, City of Ashes.

Shadowhunters (Nephilim) can defeat antags by carving runes on their skin and surroundings, and by using various blades and whatnot. But Clary Fray’s and Jace Wayland’s father Valentine has stolen a Mortal Instrument or two, using them to summon demons. Why? I’m not sure. Will the teens hunt down their dad and destroy him? There’s definite hunting, but we’ll have to wait for the final installment in the trilogy, City of Glass, for closure.

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

Eve of Darkness Review

Posted on January 16, 2009 by

I’m not entirely sure why Eve was Marked. Since sinners are drafted to kill demons, her sin must be…rooting Reed in the stairwell after they just met, and maybe didn’t know each other’s names. I’m not quite clear on that, or maybe because she “tempted” both brothers. I must have forgotten this detail, or it wasn’t explained well enough, which is a problem when your protagonist is a “chosen one” – readers want to know why.

The series concept seems so obvious in hindsight, it’s actually a surprise that no one thought to do it before. The author’s angels and demons are well-crafted and original, as is the world-building. But then when witches and werewolves come into the picture…it seems a bit kitchen sink.

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

The Summoning Fiction Review

Posted on January 9, 2009 by

At fifteen, Chloe Saunders still hasn’t menstruated. But the day it hits coincides with the ghost of a custodian haunting Chloe at school, until she finally breaks down. Told she has schizophrenia, she’s sent to live in a group home for other teens dealing with mental illness. Or are they?

But Lyle House’s patients are here by no happy accident, judging by the supernatural happenings. As Chloe comes to terms with her necromancy, she learns her powers are much stronger than they should be. Ghosts have been more hindrance than help in the past, but there’s one particular ghost who could provide information the group needs. If only Chloe can figure out how to contact her…

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

Undead on Arrival Fiction Review

Posted on January 7, 2009 by

There’s a war brewing between Shadow Wolves and Werewolves in L. A. Banks’ Undead on Arrival.

Genetics, the military and the paranormal all feature in this third instalment of the Crimson Moon series. Newcomers will easily get lost trying to figure out the differences between clans and packs, Shadow Wolves and Werewolves, and who’s related to whom. In addition, some characters have different names for their different forms (human and wolf), and others are simply referred to as “Hunter’s mother” or “Shogun’s mother”. And since relations are a big issue here, this is rather confusing.

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

Dead Man Rising Fiction Review

Posted on December 19, 2008 by

Dante Valentine’s past comes back to haunt her in Lilith Saintcrow’s Dead Man Rising.

Rigger Hall, a hellish school that damaged much more than it taught its students, was mentioned in the first novel of this series, Working for the Devil. It’d be an interesting (but too much like snuff) setting for a spinoff YA series, but instead it’s the plot for this novel. This futuristic urban fantasy is perfect for readers fed up with cutesy-faff paranormals. Don’t expect to smile and be merry, but do expect to read something of great merit.

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TezMillerOz

The Darkest Kiss Fiction Review

Posted on December 15, 2008 by

Riley Jenson hunts down two serial killers, in Keri Arthur’s The Darkest Kiss.

One of the murderers is targeting Melbourne’s rich and powerful; including the infamous Toorak Trollops (they’re not prostitutes, just skanks). The other murderer is hitting closer to Riley. All their security systems can’t save the high society types from gruesome deaths. Among the charity functions and whatnot, I almost expected Lillian Frank to pop up and spout something about polo.

Instead, we get Quinn O’Conor, the vampire Riley was emoing over in the previous novel, Embraced by Darkness. Their relationship seems rather superficial, so why they seem so tied to one another, I don’t quite understand. But Riley’s relationships have never been a series drawcard for me: the mysteries are.

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TezMillerOz

Embraced by Darkness Fiction Review

Posted on December 5, 2008 by

Riley Jenson needs all her supernatural abilities to hunt down a particularly eerie serial killer, in Keri Arthur’s Embraced by Darkness.

Riley Jenson is one of the Directorate of Other Races’ guardians, trained to hunt and destroy her prey. With both vampire and werewolf genes, she is mostly werewolf, but has a host of other paranormal skills: she can switch her vision to infrared, is clairvoyant, and can wrap shadows around herself. Mixing searching for a missing pack member and investigating recent serial murders, Riley’s on the hunt.

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

Living with the Dead Fiction Review

Posted on November 25, 2008 by

An innocent human learns of the supernatural amongst us in Kelley Armstrong’s Living with the Dead.

Robyn Peltier’s client has been killed, and she’s being set up for murder. Still recovering from her husband’s death, the last thing she needs is her pal Hope Adams and her guy Karl Marsten parading their coupleness in her face, but they’re the only ones who have insight into who the murderer really is…and with whom she’s in cahoots.

But Robyn doesn’t know that Hope is a half-demon and Karl is a werewolf. And when she does find out, Hope and Karl are less than civil to her.

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TezMillerOz

Swallowing Darkness Fiction Review

Posted on November 21, 2008 by

Pregnant with twins, Princess Meredith NicEssus embarks on her biggest battle yet in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Swallowing Darkness.

With impending motherhood, Merry knows the safest thing for her unborn children, her lovers/guards and she is to escape faerie to Los Angeles. After all, her cousin Prince Cel desperately wants her – and her nearest and dearest – dead. Or maybe just maimed.

But escaping safely to the Western Lands means working with humans, who may not be fully aware of the deadly task they face of protecting Merry and her posse. Old wounds will bleed again…

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TezMillerOz

Savor Me Slowly Fiction Review

Posted on November 4, 2008 by

A beautiful, newly discovered alien race is spreading a virus that turns its victims into cannibals, in the third part of Gena Showalter’s Alien Huntress series.

They’re called the Schön, and both Alien Investigation and Removal and Mishka Le’Ace’s boss want them investigated, captured and killed. As always with this series, the world-building is outstanding and the Schön case is intriguing…but it’s only a subplot. And if you’d read the back cover copy, you wouldn’t know about this storyline at all.

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TezMillerOz

The Chosen Sin Fiction Review

Posted on October 22, 2008 by

Vampires in space make for a bizarre but intriguing read in Anya Bast’s futuristic/paranormal/erotic romance mash-up.

Circa a thousand years from now, The Chosen Sin is mostly set on the desert planet, Darpong. Earth-born Daria Moran is an Allied Bureau of Investigation agent whose mission in life – both personal and professional – is to bring down Christopher Sante, who killed Daria’s best friend, and others, and may be guilty of other ghastly deeds.

But in order to infiltrate Sante’s vampire commune, Daria has to become Chosen – and Alejandro Martinez will Choose her.

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

The Electric Church Fiction Review

Posted on October 16, 2008 by

Religion is electrified in the snappy first book of Jeff Somers’ cyber-noir series featuring Avery Cates.

John Lennon might have imagined a world without religion, but this futuristic tale features a church gone mad, where to convert means sacrificing your brain to a cyborg’s body. And if you don’t want to convert…well, the Electric Monks want to kill you. (I think. I read a lot of this in front of the TV, and thus didn’t pay as much attention as I should have.)

If your mission is to kill the head of a legalised-yet-suspicious religion, where might they live? In England, apparently, in Westminster Abbey – only what Avery Cates finds there is mind-blowing. But before that he has to build up a team to help him take down Dennis Squalor – which is nice, but I got tetchy waiting for the assassination to begin.

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

Awaken Me Darkly Fiction Review

Posted on October 1, 2008 by

Fascinating world-building and a unique serial killer make Gena Showalter’s Awaken Me Darkly an engrossing read.

In New Chicago, Mia Snow works for Alien Investigation and Removal, hunting out predators and protecting humans. Not every alien is evil, but the ones who are keep Mia in business. The latest serial killer’s identity has been narrowed down to one of the Arcadian females, and on the chase Mia’s partner is near-deathly wounded. To survive, he needs special blood, and the only provider is the brother of the case’s lead suspect. Kyrin en Arr’s ultimatum is to set his sister free, or else he won’t keep Mia’s partner alive, but letting loose the most likely serial killer is hardly ideal for Mia.

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

Blood Lite Fiction Review

Posted on September 24, 2008 by

Horror’s not so scary in this humorous horror anthology presented by the Horror Writers Association, and edited by Kevin J. Anderson.

Let’s not deny it: anthologies are often a mixed bag containing mostly so-so stories, with a few outstanding contributions. Blood Lite is no different in that respect.

Here’s the story breakdown:

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TezMillerOz

Night Child Fiction Review

Posted on September 17, 2008 by

The mystical is also believable in Jes Battis’s ace début novel.

An Occult Special Investigator for Vancouver’s Mystical Crime Lab, Tess Corday arrives at a crime scene where a vampire is dead. A note and photo on the vamp lead Tess to Mia Polanski, a thirteen-year-old in danger but whom also possesses great power, and Lucian Agrado, a necromancer who’s liaison to the vampire community. And the action heats up as the investigation deepens…

Vancouver is a welcome diversion from the seemingly endless stream of American cities in urban fantasy. Jes Battis gives a right good dose of Canadian flavour that makes the setting all the more enjoyable.

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

Moon Called Fiction Review

Posted on August 27, 2008 by

There’s more to paranormal creatures than mechanics in the opener of Patricia Briggs’s popular urban fantasy series.

Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a hereditary walker, brought up in a werewolf foster home. Now Mercy runs her garage specializing in German vehicles, and takes on a new assistant – who happens to be a werewolf with a lot of trouble on his back. But it’s hard to make friends when you’ve been kept in a cage, and experimented on.

When a corpse is dumped on her front step, and next door there’s more destruction, and a teenage girl is missing…it all leads to Mercy working with werewolves, vampires and fae to get everything resolved.

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TezMillerOz

Taste of Night Fiction Review

Posted on August 20, 2008 by

Science and magic come together to decimate Las Vegas’s population in the second volume of the Signs of the Zodiac series.

Joanna Archer is still living a double life as a superhero and a socialite heiress, going under her sister Olivia’s name. But someone else knows her as Joanna: a Shadow initiate whose metamorphosis isn’t far away. Regan DuPree seems both a helper and a hindrance, and Jo trusts her when she probably shouldn’t. As a result, she unintentionally spreads the deadly virus that the Tupla let loose, and things worsen from there.

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

Eryn Fiction Review

Posted on August 13, 2008 by

Eryn James is a medical secretary by day who the police have asked to become bait. Five women who’ve been to LifeMate have been murdered; Eryn looks similar and she’s a shifter – though I’m not sure if it was explained how she met the police and how they know she’s a shifter. But Eryn’s not just a shifter – she’s a beagle shifter. Okay, that’s something new, and it causes for perhaps unintentional hilarity…

Review by Tez Miller

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TezMillerOz

Scent of Shadows Fiction Review

Posted on August 11, 2008 by

Vicki Pettersson brings fresh ideas, deep psychology and Las Vegas’s underbelly in this flashy first volume in the Signs of the Zodiac series.

Since her almost-deadly assault about nine years ago, Joanna Archer has been tough and hard, with an empty façade that keeps even her nearest and dearest away. A blind date ends in violence and death, and Jo’s not just an innocent bystander. Turning twenty-five has awakened powers that have made her a target of the warring Zodiac factions, Light and Shadow. With a parent from each faction, Jo could go either way, and though she chooses to align with the Light, a traitor walks among the troop and exposes them all to the Shadow agents…including Jo’s father.

Review by Tez Miller

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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